Bad Trucking Idea #2: Lease Here/Work Here

Bad Trucking Idea #2: Lease Here/Work Here

Never lease a truck from the place you get your loads. When you lease your truck from a shipping company, you can only take loads from their company. You are captive to their dispatchers. You won’t be able to work for yourself.

In general:

  • You want to drive your truck for whichever trucking company has the best deal (best rates, best miles, best shifts, best hometime, etc.). This might be the company that you currently work for, or it might not.

  • Since you are in the middle of a lease, you, essentially, can’t quit.

  • At the end of your lease, the company you are leasing for is getting your truck back—some companies require that you have all your maintenance performed in their shops by their mechanics. These repairs and maintenance could take longer, and cost more, than having your local mechanics do the maintenance.

  • If there is no work at the company you are leasing from, you will still have lease payments.

As a side note, leasing equipment is usually much more expensive than owning. At the end of the lease, you have to give the equipment back. You end up with nothing. In dollar terms, you would be much better off buying used equipment.

Rosey profit projections aside, you need to ask yourself some questions: If leasing a truck is such a great deal, why is the company sharing these profits with you? If it was a great deal, wouldn’t they keep this deal for themselves?

If you own your own truck, you can make a lot more money, but you need to be the one chasing the work and arranging the loads. There won’t be a dispatcher keeping you busy. Also, there is also more paperwork. If you are the sort of person that can’t keep the checkbook straight and can’t get the trip envelopes submitted in a timely fashion, maybe owning a truck isn’t a good idea.

All that being said, don’t be in a rush. You shouldn’t even be thinking about owning/leasing until you have at least 2 years of experience. After you have several years of driving experience and decide that you want to own your own equipment, you will be in a much better position to make an informed decision.

Keep Reading